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Macron arrives in hurricane-hit Caribbean

French President Emmanuel Macron traveled Tuesday to the hurricane-hit Caribbean, to join the Dutch king who has expressed shocked over the devastation on the worst-hit territories.

Macron arrives in hurricane-hit Caribbean
AFP

Macron's visit to the islands of St Martin and St Barts comes almost a week since Hurricane Irma roared over the region as a maximum Category Five storm, leaving at least 10 dead on French territory and a wide trail of destruction.

Authorities have begun evacuating locals and tourists from the hardest-hit French, British and Dutch territories in the Caribbean where many have complained about a breakdown in law and order and widespread shortages of food, water and electricity.

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Dutch King Willem-Alexander spent a night on the Dutch side of the divided island of St Martin on Monday and will travel on to other territories that bore the brunt of one of the most powerful storms on record.

“Even from the plane I saw something I have never seen before,” the Dutch royal told the NOS public newscaster. “I have seen proper war as well as natural disasters before, but I've never seen anything like this”.

“Everywhere you look there's devastation, you see the collapse,” he added.

Like the French and Dutch governments, Britain has also faced criticism for failing to anticipate the scale of the disaster caused by Irma.

Under pressure to be more responsive, foreign minister Boris Johnson is expected to travel to the region on Tuesday for a visit to the British Virgin Islands and Anguilla.

According to the latest official figures, Irma left 10 people dead and seven missing on the French islands, four dead on Dutch territories and six dead on British ones.

Macron's plane touched down in Guadeloupe Tuesday enroute to St Martin.

“He needs to come to look around, so that he realises the horror here,” one local on St Martin, Peggy Brun, told AFP.

Long queues formed Monday at the airport on the Dutch side of the island as people waited to be evacuated.
   
“Here at the gates (to the airport) they don't know anything,” Brigitte van der Posch, 46, told the Algemeen Dagblad newspaper, adding that the evacuation was “chaotic”.

EMMANUEL MACRON

Macron to make live TV broadcast to France

French president Emmanuel Macron will make a live TV broadcast to the nation about the war in Ukraine.

Macron to make live TV broadcast to France

Macron will be on TV on Wednesday at 8pm, the Elysée confirmed earlier on Wednesday.

Macron also tweeted the announcement, saying that his speech will be on the subject of the war in Ukraine.

His office added that the president’s speech “will not touch on other matters” – Macron has only until Friday to confirm whether or not he is running for re-election.

It is widely considered to be extremely unlikely that he would not stand in the April elections, but all candidates have until Friday, March 4th, to make their declaration.

Macron’s team had previously announced a rally in Marseille on Saturday, March 5th, which was expected to be the first official campaign event, but on Tuesday this was cancelled because of the ongoing international crisis.

Macron was at the forefront of international efforts to find a diplomatic resolution to the crisis, and since Russia invaded Ukraine he has remained in close contact with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, and has also spoken – at the request of Zelensky – to Russian premier Vladimir Putin.

 
The Local will be following Macron’s speech live from 8pm HERE.
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